Osinbajo Says Nigeria Needs Unifiers

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…. At Bida Emirate Turbaning Ceremony

….VP is concerned about all Nigerians irrespective of differences — Etsu Nupe

Nigeria needs not just achievers, but more importantly men and women who are bridge builders and unifiers, and who see the country’s ethnic diversity as a source of strength, and not as a point of difference.

These were the words of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, today during the turbaning ceremony of some prominent persons in Bida emirate, Niger State. It was his second public outing of the day after he was Special Guest of Honour at the National Institute for Security Studies in Bwari, FCT.

In Bida, the Etsu Nupe and Chairman, Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers, Alhaji Dr. Yahaya Abubakar, CFR, in a show of goodwill and appreciation, conferred on the Vice President the “Garkuwan Yamma Nupe” which means “the Defender of Nupe Kingdom.”

“I am short of words to express our gratitude to the Vice President. It shows the concern you have for all Nigerians irrespective of who they are and where they come from,” Etsu Nupe stated.

The Etsu Nupe turbaned four prominent public officials, including Hon. Said Musa Abdullahi, a member of the House of Representatives who was made the Gwarzon Nupe, and Hon. Bako Alfa Kasimu who became the Zarman Nupe. He is also a House of Representatives member.

Others were Hon. Engr. Muhammed Alhaji Haruna who was Turbaned as the Dan Turakin Nupe. He is a member of the Niger State House of Assembly, and Dr. Suleiman Sheshi, the Chairman of the Bida Local Government Council who was given the title, Maina Nupe.

Congratulating those who were honoured at the event, the Vice President stated that “the Etsu Nupe has wisely chosen today to celebrate excellence and selfless service.”

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“They have all brought competence, commitment and character to the positions of responsibility entrusted to them. And this is evident from all we know and what has been said about them,” he stated.

In his remarks after the turbaning, the VP noted that the conferment of the titles was a fresh call to service to the Bida community and the nation, adding that “our country needs men and women who understand that all men and women regardless of race and faith deserve to be treated equally, fairly and justly.”

Prof. Osinbajo also restated the Federal Government’s commitment to enhancing security nationwide.

“We will continue to work with key stakeholders and the people to effectively tackle the current insecurity challenges in order to achieve a peaceful and prosperous society. This we promise to do to the glory of the Almighty and for the benefit of the people who elected us into office,” he said.

While noting that “many sons and daughters of Nupe land have risen to prominence in Nigeria in both the pre- and post-independence era, making significant contributions to national development, the VP further said that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration recognized the strategic importance of Nupe-land in national development.

According to him, “that is why only a few weeks ago the Federal Executive Council approved the reconstruction of key roads here in Niger State. This Administration understands that in order to sustainably improve the standard of living of the people, we must address the persistent socio–economic inequalities in our society by ensuring our people are gainfully engaged in legitimate economic activity.

“That is why we have and will continue to prioritize agricultural growth and development. Between July and September 2021, agriculture contributed almost 30 per cent of Nigeria’s total GDP. Nupe-land, with its vast farmlands and extensive farming activities, is key in delivering this figure.”

The VP celebrated the culture of the Nupe people and their contributions to national development over the course of the nation’s history.

“Nupe kingdom is a land that is steeped in the splendour of tradition. Indeed, this occasion provides us a platform to appreciate the rich cultural heritage of the Nupe people, a proud and distinguished people with a unique history; and looking around Wadata Palace here, we can see some of the vestiges of the battles, symbols of Nupe bravery and heroism,” he stated.

The VP further said Nupe land is today “very fortunate to have one of its great sons, who had an illustrious career in the Nigerian military and rose to the rank of a General before he answered the call of service to his people, to take the seat of his forefathers as the 13th Etsu Nupe: His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr.) Yahaya Abubakar, CFR, our host today. And he is easily one of the most respected traditional leaders in Nigeria today.”

On arrival in Bida, Prof. Osinbajo was welcomed by the State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, and was also accompanied on the trip by Senator Sani Musa who represents Niger State at the Senate.

‘Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
4th December, 2021

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